Search Results - "Stars Mod Club Toronto December 18, 2004"
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Middle-aged cult heroes Teenage Fanclub return with new album
MergeSo much to catch up on. Where to begin? How about Scotland? That Teenage Fanclub had completed a new record in the last while is no secret. Even the title has been kicking around since last year. But the lack of news on the actual release of the record has been tough to find, at least until now. Merge, who put out their last album Man-Made in 2005, will release Shadows on June 8 to the delight of power pop connoisseurs everywhere.
To stir up anticipation, they’ve released the first MP3 from the record. It’s a Norman Blake composition but like most everything they’ve done since 1997′s Songs From Northern Britain, regardless of who the specific songwriter is, it’s a master class in mid-tempo, ultra-melodic jangle-pop. One of the wonderful things about this band – besides the music, of course – is how each of the three principals has their own distinct songwriting personality, and yet they fit together seamlessly. I’ll admit that in the past half decade, I hadn’t really been chomping at the bit for a new Fannies record but knowing that one is coming and that it’s almost certain to be of the same high level of quality as they’ve maintained pretty much forever is a comforting thought. The Fannies will never really surprise, but they’ll never disappoint either.
Also worth looking forward to is the fact that there are plans for North American touring this Fall. Their last tour was also five years ago so another visit is long overdue. Tracklisting and cover art for Shadows can be had over at Pitchfork.
MP3: Teenage Fanclub – “Baby Lee”
After a goodly amount of teasing, the first official taste of High Violet, the new record from The National, is available to download and it is, in a word, amazing. I’d been joking that this was going to be my album of the year before I heard a note, but I don’t think I’m joking anymore. The National are at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.
MP3: The National – “Blood Buzz Ohio”
The Acorn have set a June 1 release date for their new album No Ghost – details on the release at Exclaim.
Exclaim talks to Wolf Parade about their still-untitled new album, which has a release date of June 29. They’ll preview it at the Phoenix on April 7.
BBC6 talks to Thomas Mars of Phoenix, who are celebrating a pretty good year by giving away a free live album. Go and get it.
ZIP: Phoenix / Live In Sydney
And speaking of live, let’s talk show announcements. With their new album The Five Ghosts set to come out on June 22, Stars are looking to get back into game shape with a short Canadian tour that will find the band playing rooms much smaller than they normally would, including the Mod Club in Toronto on May 5. And you’ll be paying for the privilege of pretending its December 2004… tickets are a rather dear $34.75, on sale Friday morning. But you know that even at that price, they’ll be gone lickety split.
They entertained the hell out of me just a few days ago, and now Man Man are coming to do the same to you – they’ve got a date at Lee’s Palace on May 9 as part of a short tour, tickets $15.
MP3: Man Man – “Top Drawer”
UK electro outfit Fuck Buttons have made a date at the Horseshoe for May 19.
MP3: Fuck Buttons – “Bright Tomorrow”
Holly Miranda will finally be bringing her solo effort The Magician’s Private Library to town for a show at the El Mocambo on May 20.
MP3: Holly Miranda – “Waves”
The Avett Brothers will bring their latest album I And Love And You back to town for a show at The Phoenix on June 1. Tickets are $25.50 and on sale now.
MP3: The Avett Brothers – “I And Love And You”
Though they were just here in October, The Psychedelic Furs are back for a much cozier show at Lee’s Palace on June 8.
Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”
His date at the Mod Club last April was cancelled due to illness, but Robyn Hitchcock is finally making that up in intimate style with two shows at the Drake Underground on June 11 and 12. Of course that show was supposed to be with the Venus 3 – no word yet what the touring configuration for these appearances are going to be, but it’ll be entertaining regardless.
MP3: Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – “Goodnight Oslo” (live)
The New Pornographers have announced their extensive North American touring plans in support of Together, out May 4. For their June 15 date at the Sound Academy, they’ll be joined by The Dodos and The Dutchess & The Duke – tickets $26.50 general admission and $40 VIP balcony, on sale Friday. And since it’s a question that always gets asked when tour dates are announced, yes – Dan and Neko are going to be there.
MP3: The New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together)”
MP3: The Dodos – “Fables”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Living This Life”
And if you like your west coast pop a little more bent, Frog Eyes will be at the Music Gallery that same evening, June 15, accompanied by Seattle’s Pearly Gate Music.
MP3: Frog Eyes – “Bushels”
MP3: Pearly Gate Music – “Big Escape”
And oh yeah, Montreal’s Osheaga festival announced their lineup this week and it’s a pretty big pile of holy shit. With a top-five bill of Arcade Fire, Weezer, Pavement, Metric and The National and a pretty solid undercard, it’s pretty much a must-attend for any indie-rocking type who isn’t averse to standing around in a field for two days. The fest goes July 31 and August 1 in Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal; weekend passes go for $110/$120 depending on how soon you’re willing to commit.
Friday, August 14th, 2009
Virgin Festival Ontario scales down, heads downtown
Rob Sheridan & Tamar LevineThey do try their best, I believe that, but it might be time to declare any Virgin Festival in Canada to be well and truly cursed. Don’t get me wrong, despite everything, I’ve always had a great time at the three in Toronto thus far, but you can’t really say they’ve gone smoothly. In 2006, they lost one headliner in Massive Attack (Broken Social Scene wasn’t a bad pinch hitter at all, but that it was necessary was unfortunate) and then there was the infamous 15-minute set from The Flaming Lips. The 2007 edition fared a bit better but still lost Amy Winehouse and Peter Bjorn & John without equal calibre replacements. Last year saw the the headliner famously assaulted onstage.
And that’s just the Toronto editions. As the rumour goes, last year’s Vancouver edition was cancelled outright after Pemberton poached Coldplay as headliner. And this year, after keeping silent well into the Spring as to whether there’d even be a festival this year, they came out and announced five across the country, most of which befell some sort of calamity. Vancouver was struck by lightning and had to cancel the headline set by The Roots. Halifax lost headliners The Tragically Hip at the 11th hour and had to make up for it by making the whole event free. Montreal headliners New Kids On The Block failed to contract food poisoning before their set and were able to perform. I think Calgary managed to avoid any sort of disaster their two years running – good on them.
Which left Ontario. Though still the subject of many complaints, I thought the 2009 lineup was pretty solid – but the decision to hold it an hour north of the city at Burl’s Creek in Oro was met with howls of protest from the 416. And it wasn’t just whinging from those who didn’t like going north of Bloor – there were genuine logistical concerns about transportation, traffic, accommodations and whatnot. But I guess the assumption was that the absence of those who didn’t want to leave the city would be made up for by others in southern Ontario who would find it easier to not drive downtown and a lovely time would be had by all.
Not so much.
An unexpected press release showed up yesterday around noon declaring that due to slow ticket sales and protests about the location, Virgin Festival Ontario had been moved from Burl’s Creek to the Molson Amphitheatre in downtown Toronto, barely two weeks before the event was scheduled to happen. Considering that many/most who had decided to go had already made travel and lodging arrangements, myself included, this wasn’t as much of the gift as it may have been intended to be. For example, I was able to get a full refund on my hotel room (I don’t camp) – I know others had booked non-refundable rooms. They’re now out a couple hundred dollars. Others who bought tickets early at full price will be justifiably upset that the new pricing structure offers much cheaper options, though refunds for tickets are available so you could trade those in and buy the cheaper Amphitheatre lawns if you just want to grab a piece of sod and chill out for a couple days. Mind you, those already holding tickets have been promised to be given first crack at the Amphitheatre’s floors and 200-level seats, though that may give you an idea of how many tickets were sold in the first place. I can’t say exactly how assignments will go, but it seems that those first in line will get wristbands granting GA floors and then everyone else will get assigned 200-level seating.
And while the festival organizers are assuring that all the announced acts will still perform, there’s other questions, like how the stages will be set up – the Amphitheatre itself can’t easily accommodate a second stage, particularly not one big enough to handle Pet Shop Boys or Pixies, who I would assume would be closing that one out on their respective nights. Which means that the second stage would have to go outside the Amphitheatre grounds and somewhere else in Ontario Place. Looking at the satellite imagery, the spot south of the Amphitheatre is the only logical place it could go but I have no idea what’s there and what might get mangled by a big stage and thousands of concert goers, never mind the fact that this is all going down when the CNE is on and Ontario Place will already be lousy with non-V Fest visitors.
So how will it all end up going down? Will the V Fest brand be able to recover from this year and convince people to return in the future? Will they even try? I have no idea, but am very curious to see. And while I really was warming to the idea of the Burl’s Creek experience (if not the insect bites that would ensue), I can’t say I’m not pleased that like past years, I’ll be able to get there by bike and be able to sleep in my own bed.
They were just here last month opening for Frightened Rabbit but The Antlers have since garnered their own immense buzz for their new album Hospiceand so are are coming back for their own show at the Horseshoe on September 24.
Speaking of shows, after Wilco’s October 14 show at Massey Hall sells out minutes after tickets go on sale this morning at 10AM, look for a second show to be announced for October 15. This comes from a press release for opener Liam Finn which lists both dates at Massey Hall and considering how Wilco have been playing the same venue since 2004 while their fanbase has arguably grown considerably, and the idea of a multi-night stand seems eminently logical though it makes my eight-year streak of seeing every Wilco appearance in Toronto considerably more difficult to maintain. LiveDaily has an interview with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.
And if that’s not enough Liam Finn for you, Bumpershine reports that he’ll play his own headlining show at Lee’s Palace on October 29 with Miracle Fortress as support. Finn’s new EP with Eliza Jane Champagne in Seashells is out September 1.
MP3: Liam Finn with Eliza Jane – “Plane Crash”
Stream: Liam Finn & Eliza Jane / Champagne In Seashells
Those waiting for Sufjan Stevens ticket information for the October 1 show, looks like Ticketmaster is your only option. Face value is $17.50 so you’ll be lucky to come away a ducat for under $30, all said and done. Also note: “Tickets cannot be picked up at the outlet. They must be picked by the cardholder, with credit card in hand and photo identification at the venue by the cardholder ONLY”. So there you go.
And Cryptacize, who are touring with Stevens, are the subject of a feature video/audio session over at Luxury Wafers.
MP3: Cryptacize – “Blue Tears” (live on Luxury Wafers)
Antony & The Johnsons have not only covered Beyonce, but they’ve made a video. No Jay-Z, though.
Video: Antony & The Johnsons – “Crazy In Love”
Previously venue-less, the August 30 Throw Me The Statue show will now be happening at The Boat with support from The Brunettes and Nurses. And if you dig on Nurses, they’re back in town on October 15 at the Drake Underground with Le Loup.
MP3: Throw Me The Statue – “Ancestors”
MP3: Nurses – “Caterpillar Playground”
MP3: The Brunettes – “Small Town Crew”
MP3: Le Loup – “Beach Town”
Deerhoof will be doing a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square on September 17, somehow related to TIFF. Is there a Deerhoof documentary premiering that I don’t know about?
MP3: Deerhoof – “+81″
The Flaming Lips have set an October 13 release date for their next album Embryonic. Rolling Stone has details and Pitchfork is streaming a song from the record, and early response to new material from those who’ve lost interest in the band nearly as much as I have is quite positive.
Spinner and Billboard talk to Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and Son Volt’s Jay Farrar about their work on One Fast Move or I’m Gone, the soundtrack album for a documentary on Jack Kerouac by the same name. The album will be out October 20 and there are plans for a tour to follow.
Video: Jay Farrar – “San Francisco”
Trailer: One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur
Laura Marling discusses her plans for album number two with BBC.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks to Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk and The Philadelphia Inquirer to Colin Meloy.
The Dan Deacon show at Sneaky Dee’s on November 3 isn’t his only local date – he’s also at the Great Hall on November 4.
Luxury Wafers talks to Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers. Their new one Exploding Head is out October 6 and they’re at the Mod Club on October 27.
Friday, December 3rd, 2004
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Feist’s Toronto show last night. The last time I saw her in June, it was a truly unique show that I honestly hoped she wouldn’t try to reproduce. This time around, she kept pretty much the same band configuration, though trading in the projectionist for a second keyboardist.
I’m looking over my review from June, and really, there’s not much to add – it was very similar in sound and structure, but somewhat different in feel. Where the Mod Club show seemed rather scripted and performance art-y, last night felt more like a proper ‘rock’ show. Feist was more engaging and chatty with the crowd than six months ago, which I personally found more appealing. The music (and unusually excellent house sound) must have gotten some people in the mood as there was no shortage of volunteers when she invited audience members onstage to take part in a kissing contest while they sorted out a technical problem. Though it wasn’t so much a contest as an opportunity for two strangers to get on stage and make out for 10 seconds in front of 1000-odd people, which they did and with gusto. The bulk of the material came from Let It Die, naturally, but there were some tunes I didn’t recognize which may or may not have been new. These ones seemed to have more rock spirit in them, so whether it heralds a new direction for her future work remains to be seen.
Local boy Howie Beck got an unusually long opening set (upwards of 45 minutes) which he filled with pleasant, if largely unremarkable, singer-songwriter pop. I, however, am on the record as being especially difficult to impress by a guy on an acoustic guitar (even if accompanied by tasteful electric lead work). Can’t really say why, just am. Within five minutes of him leaving the stage, I’d forgotten everything he’d done.
It was a battle getting photos last night – besides people constantly standing right in front of me (as in close enough that I could tell what shampoo they used… or that they didn’t use shampoo), the lighting was damned peculiar. Very heavy on the reds, and damn near impossible to get a consistent white balance, focus or exposure reading. I managed to get a decent album together, but you should see the number of shots I had to toss… And if you’re looking for natural skintones, well just keep walking.
Pitchfork frankly surprises the hell out of me by awarding Slowdive’s new 2-disc retrospective compilation Catch The Breeze a 9.5. Their rationale is that the band was much more than just another shoegaze act, but a trailblazer in the post-rock and electronica genres, this based largely on the merits of their final album Pygmalion (which gets better every time I listen to it). This isn’t going to be a big Slowdive love-in post, however – I just did one of those back in July. I think there’s some stuff on Catch The Breeze that I don’t have, but I can’t justify shelling out the import prices for it. Thankfully, I have… other avenues for getting the material…
Pitchfork also gives Stars’ latest Set Yourself On Fire a reasonable 7.8. I like the record but it hasn’t entirely grabbed me yet. Mind you, Heart took a while as well. Stars are at the Mod Club December 18.
Brooklyn Vegan has a track from the new Decemberists record to whet your appetite. Picaresque is out March 22.
Toronto entertainment weekly eye now has a blog. Everyone and their mother, I swear…
np – The Delgados / Universal Audio
Thursday, November 18th, 2004
Bright Eyes have finally accepted that there is no more threat of SARS in Toronto and are stopping by to visit on January 21 at the Phoenix. If I go, it will be for the sole purpose of coughing on Conor Oberst and making him cry. An Asian guy in Toronto having a coughing fit? That’ll freak him right out, It’ll be great.
But seriously, I’m not sure if I want to go to this – I have Lifted, and like it alright, but it didn’t spur me to want to hear MORE of their stuff, collect the back catalog, etc., which is usually pretty easy to do. Similarly, I’m not sure how keen I am to hear either Digital Ash in a Digital Urn or I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (both out January 25). I’m guess I’m just incredibly dispassionate about Bright Eyes, which is probably just the cosmos’ way of keeping balance with their usual screaming/crying fanbase. Oh yeah, it appears the tour is only meant to promote the more traditional-sounding Morning. Maybe that means the Conor + iBook tour is still to come?
Emily Haines of Metric will be playing a solo show at the Church of the Redeemer at Bloor and Avenue on December 17… We all remember the minor shitstorm I stirred up when I reviewed her last solo show back in July, so let’s just say I expect to miss this one. But if you want to go, tickets are $17.50.
And looking waaaaay into the future, Keane are at the Kool Haus February 13 (tickets $26.75), Of Montreal return to town April 23 and Deerhoof are supposed to be here on May 18, venue TBA of course. Or at least that’s what their booking agency says. How they can plan that far into the future is beyond me. What if we’re struck by an asteroid? What then? There’ll be no Of Montreal, that’s what.
Ted Leo has given his website a fancy-pants do-over and there’s a slew more mp3s for your guilt-free downloading pleasure. So if you’ve not experienced the joy of rock that is Ted Leo, you no longer have an excuse. There’s nothing particularly rare but it’s a helluva good sampler for the unindoctrinated.
eye asks Frank Black Francis probing questions about both the Pixies reunion, which hits T.O. next Wednesday and Thursday, and his ongoing solo career. I bought my tickets for this show seven months ago. SEVEN. Back then, I was excited. Now I’m just, “I’m going to see who where now?”
Stereolab will be clearing out the vaults with a double-CD/single-DVD compilation of EPs and rarities. It should be out in mid-April on an indeterminate label, since Elektra dropped the band earlier this year.
More Cowbell has compiled an indie-riffic Christmas mp3 mix. Go download and be festive.
I’ve been making squeaky noises for some time about maybe going to SXSW next year – about when should I start translating talk into action and look into transport, accomodations, etc? I’ve never been (obvs) and aren’t really interested in being a formal ‘attendee’ (read: no badges or such nonsense), but don’t want to miss out on anything cool due to sloth (not the guy from The Goonies, thanks). Any veterans or folks who’ve been before have some advice? And who’s going next year?
Information Leafblower has compiled his annual ‘Top 40 Bands in America’, of which I was pleased to be a participant. For the record, my selections were:
2. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
4. Drive-By Truckers
7. Steve Earle
8. The Shins
9. American Music Club
10. Yo La Tengo
I can’t say I spent a helluva lot of time thinking it over – I basically pulled out my ten favourite and (IMO) most artistically vital American artists, threw them into a rough ranking and sent it off to Kyle, and six of my selections made the cut. To anyone who’s followed this blog or knows my tastes, there’s not a surprise in the bunch. No point in pretending I’m hipper than I am, after all. But more fun than the list are the comments that follow – some folks get waaay too worked up about these sorts of things. Do people not realize the fundamental absurdity of trying to argue points like, “How can you say band X is good when it’s OBVIOUS that band Y is so much better”? Folks, everyone is equally full of shit, it’s really not worth getting into a lather about. Now let’s all go down to the corner store and have a malted. You’re buying.
np – The Flaming Lips / Clouds Taste Metallic
Thursday, November 4th, 2004
NOW previews a couple shows on my calendar this week. First off, there’s Luna’s farewell show at Lee’s Palace on Sunday night, and then on Monday night there’s the Velvet Crush (whose crappy website has gone AWOL completely), opening for Matthew Sweet at the Mod Club (and Pulse Of The Twin Cities has a piece on Matthew, courtesy of Largehearted Boy).
The Crushing Sweetness show, as I just decided to call it and which I’m sort of regretting now that I see it on the screen, will be one big power pop love-in, with Sweet and his bassist Tony Marsico playing with Paul Chastain, Ric Menck and Peter Phillips as Velvet Crush, and then the same lineup backing Sweet for his set. I expect they’ll be playing material to promote their latest album Stereo Blues, which I honestly found to be a modest disappointment. They try too hard to bring the rock and that’s just not where their strengths lie. I expect to be one of many who wants to hear more Teenage Symphonies material, but whichever way they go it should be a good show. Hell, at $25 a ticket it damn well better be.
Billboard declares The Shins to be “successes”. I’m sure they’re pleased to hear it.
Not many shows being announced as the calendar year winds down, but there’s still a trickle. Like that The Gossip are at Lee’s Palace December 5. And some more info on the Stars show at the Mod Club December 18 – tickets are $15 and Gentleman Reg is opening.
Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again has given a lot of thought to what the outcome of the Presidential election means to those on the left, and what happens next. The Incredible Hulk has some more succinct thoughts on the topic.
Thinking about fleeing the United States? Harpers offers some helpful tips. Or we can look into redrawing the borders along partisan lines – this proposal looks pretty good to me, or this one (from More Cowbell). Though that reminds me – I’m going to be in Chicago in a week. I should really figure out what I’m going to do there.
np – Superchunk / Come Pick Me Up